Something Swedish

Swedish Weather: “Svenskt väder”

8 Comments

When I first moved to Sweden people thought I was crazy for arriving in the middle of winter. They are even more surprised to learn that over the past three years almost all my visits have been in the dead of winter, and I still wanted to move here! Sweden is known for its harsh weather- lots of snow, wind, freezing temperatures, and 17 hours of darkness during those winter months (November – March). The climate between Southern and Northern Sweden is severe. Where the January temperatures in our town usually bottom out around -4 C (25F), that is nothing compared to Middle/Northern Sweden where Winter temperatures hit -15 C (5F). Our 17 hours of darkness is nothing compared to the 20+ hours of night the further North you travel. Thankfully our Southern weather is not as drastic: less snow, more light, less frigid, but more wind. The winter months affects all Swedes though, and everyone looks forward to summer days filled with sunshine and warmth.

When Spring begins to peek out of hiding Sweden starts waking up from its many months of slumber. A few weeks ago Spring had sprung and even showed a glorious preview of summer. The streets were crowded, the parks were sprawling with sunbathers, the ice cream and gelato trucks were out, people were grilling and picnicking. It was a week of bliss. A week of exactly what makes Sweden tick. It’s an amazing feeling to finally feel the warm sun on your skin after months of dark and cold.

It  was. WAS. For the past two weeks temperatures have fallen and the sun went back into hiding. It has been raining almost everyday, cloudy, or windy. This type of unpredictable, ever changing weather is common in April, but I was hoping not so much in May! At least we now have 15 hours of daylight (Even if it is filled with clouds) and the temperatures are  usually above 10 degrees Celsius (in the 50’s F. The hottest it usually gets in Southern Sweden is around 80 degrees Fahrenheit, which I think is perfect!)  The sun makes a guest appearance a few times a day, but never long enough to be considered a “nice day.” There was one beautiful day in the past two weeks and it is supposed to start looking better on Friday (A little cloudy but no rain). It feels like One day forward, three days backwards these days. I’m beginning to understand why Swedes are so quick to jump in the sunlight as soon as it appears – it might not last very long!

EDIT: Mother nature most have read my post because that 80% rain forecast turned out to be a pretty nice day! Some clouds and wind, but mild. We even played tennis.

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8 thoughts on “Swedish Weather: “Svenskt väder”

  1. Enjoying your blog Meg. It sounds as though the Spring weather in Sweden has been similar to here in the North of England; gloriously warm in March and freezing cold now we are into May. Four years ago my husband and myself cycled across Sweden in August and September and the weather was almost as cold as it is now! Hope you get some of that longed- for sunshine very soon.

  2. Hi Meg, Mariette here. I have a slightly different view on this. I think the Swedes are obsessed by something they call “vackert väder” (beautiful weather). The definition is something like sun, warm not hot, no wind, blue skies, no clouds. Much of this is due to the incessant promotion of travel companies who want them to go to Tailand, Dubai or wherever on loooong vacations. To me there is no such thing as “beautiful weather.” The weather is what it is. I lived in LA for 10 years and I got sooooo damned bored with the no weather situation there. And I was really dying in the heat. That weather just did not suit me. Here I thrive on the weather. I love the sun, clouds, wind, snow, and sometimes even the rain. But mostly I love that it varies to much. We live at the ocean and it seems to put on a new face every day and all of them are beautiful to me. A stormy day at the sea can be invigorating to me. I just simply love WEATHER. And a wicked wild storm at the ocean can be great, just like a warm summerday. I like change and the weather here surely changes a lot. And with the right clothes, cold weather just can´t bring you down. All that said I still
    hope we get a beautiful sunny summer. I mean, having a picnic on the rocks in the pouring
    rain isn´t that great,,,But if not, I will adjust and swim in the ocean in the
    rain and hike to the top of the lookouts to see the storms come in from the ocean.
    Hopefully this view helps a bit. But do not fret, the sun and heat will come. they always do..
    I keep following your blog and love it. Mariette

    • Mariette- that is an interesting point. I would certainly get bored of no weather changes as well, except I absolutely hate rain! It’s great that you can embrace all weather and enjoy it no matter what, that is a great out look! Thank you for sharing 🙂

    • I knew valentines day was a capitalist plot, but summer?

    • But it is because we have very shifting weather and seasons that we are obsessed with “vackert väder”. We probably wouldn’t be if we had it constantly.

  3. We are currently planning a trip to Sweden in the beginning of January just so we can experience that cold snowy weather! I am a bit worried that we have no idea what are getting ourselves into but the rest of the family is excited 🙂

    • Great to hear that you’ll be visiting Sweden- I hope you love it! Where in Sweden will you be? I had friends visit recently in April who also wanted to experience “Swedish weather,” of coldness. They got a mix of snow, rain, and sun. Its better if its full on snow, especially when the day light is short and the white snow brightens everything. Sweden as fabulous summer weather, even if it is most known for its snow 🙂 The only problem is that it does not last so long!

      • Thanks so much for your response. We are going to Stockholm and Malmo before hopefully visiting other Scandinavian countries via eurail. We were in Stockholm in March 2009 and fell in love but it only snowed a little for a couple of the days we were there. My husband works for a Swedish company and our long term goal is to live there also…hopefully after our 3 years in Thailand is up 🙂

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